I've never been at ease around the cleaning lady at my school. Despite the fact that she is adorably affectionate and grandmotherly with my students, I'm a little bit scared of her. For one thing, she is wholeheartedly devoted to the ajumma uniform, and you may recall, few things frighten me more than an ajumma in a visor. Also, one time, she happened to see me accidentally step into a garbage can (I'd like to explain why, given the circumstances, it wasn't such an outrageous thing to do, but no amount of explanation can do justice to just how not outrageous it was), and she kind of cackled at me and said something in Korean, which I assumed to be something along the lines of, "And you teach our children?"
Yesterday, as I herded my class into the bathroom, she walked past and paused momentarily in front of me, resting her hand on my necklace and softly saying,
Now, when an already-scary old lady touches my neck and mutters something in a foreign language, normally I would go crazy imagining all of the horrifying things she might have said to me.
But that didn't happen this time! Because just twelve hours earlier, I had spent the evening aimlessly studying Korean and I just happened to learn that 예쁘다 means "pretty" and not any of those horrible things. Less than a full day after studying a word, I was forced to use it in real life. Pretty convenient timing, if you ask me.
Almost too convenient.
Given this turn of events, I think I'll cancel my plans to learn how to say, "Help! I'm being assaulted!"